Poseidon is Slidell's newest Carnival krewe, and after just three years, it also has become the largest, with membership topping 500. But now the newcomers want to roll at night, a move that will require amending the city's parade ordinance.
The law now limits the number of night parades in Slidell to two.
Jack Hutchison, president of Poseidon, said the desire of many krewe members to parade at night is part of what's driving the requested change, but that the current Saturday afternoon parade slot causes some headaches for local merchants. He described the proposed change as "kind of a mutual thing."
An ordinance will be introduced Tuesday to add one more night parade to the Carnival lineup, although the Slidell City Council won't vote on the measure until Oct. 10.
City officials have made accommodations for Poseidon before.
The city's lengthy parade ordinance, adopted in 2013, limited the number of parades to eight. But Poseidon members persuaded the City Council to amend the ordinance in 2015 to allow a ninth procession.
Most folks in south Louisiana will make it to a Carnival parade sometime this month. They’ll…
Poseidon, which has both male and female members stepped off for the first time in 2016, on the first parade date of the season, sharing the day with the Krewe of Claude.
But Claude did not parade last year, and Hutchison said Poseidon needs to roll on its own day because of its size. Last year it had 29 floats, and he expects it to have from 26 to 30 this year.
The krewe is already billing its 2018 parade date as Jan. 27, a Saturday, at 6 p.m., and Hutchison said he doesn't anticipate any problem with getting the City Council to agree.
Editor’s Note: St. Tammany Bureau Chief Sara Pagones is a member of Perseus.
Councilman Landon Cusimano said he favors the change, in part because there would be less impact on commerce but also because he thinks night parades are fun.
But city officials weren't always so eager to see Carnival after dark.
Slidell's two night parades are the all-female Krewe of Selene, which is in its 20th year, and the Krewe of Titans, which recently switched from an all-male to a coed krewe and is in its eighth year.
Ben Morris, who was police chief when Selene formed, adamantly opposed the idea of a night parade, arguing that it was too dangerous. When Titans formed, city officials weren't crazy about any new parades, day or night, President Joe Margiotta said.
But Titans persisted, he said, and it wanted to roll at night because the group sought to create a parade that was more like those in New Orleans.
As for Poseidon, the krewe is gearing up for its new spot in the Carnival lineup and plans to have four grand marshals: WWL-TV morning anchor Sally-Ann Roberts and her sister Robin Roberts, of ABC's "Good Morning America," and Saints players Kenny Vaccaro and Alex Okafor.